17 - Watson Lake, YT to Prince Rupert, BC
with side trip to Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK and visits to Kitimat,
Port Edward and a cannery museum
Cassiar Highway Map
Tuesday, August 11, 1998

Backtracked west 13 miles on the Alaska Highway and turned south on the Cassiar Highway.

This is mostly a traveling south day. Lots of beautiful mountain scenery, lakes, streams, fresh snow on the higher peaks. Mostly good paved road with no center stripe.

The Cassiar area had its own gold rush. Saw some modern placer mining with scoop shovel and trammel. There is also Jade in this area. This scenery is the kind you just "absorb" - impossible to photograph.

Super Natural British Columbia living up to its slogan today - beautiful blue sky, few fluffy clouds, great scenery. Stopped for lunch at Rabid Grizzly Rest Stop on Dease Lake.

Scenery continues pleasant with rolling hills and broad valleys. All of a sudden, over a rise pop up the Coast Mountains with snow fields and glaciers - the Canada/Alaska border follows the top of these mountains.

Soon back in the mountains but it is now raining so the clouds are obscuring the peaks - occasional glimpse of a peak and patches of snow.

Now down in a deep canyon along the Ningunsaw River running strongly with glacial silt. Beautiful drive even in the rain - still wish I had the sun. A little road construction but nothing major.

Stopped for the night at Meziadin Lake Provincial Campground at the junction with the road to Stewart, BC/Hyder, AK.

Wednesday, August 12, 1998

Headed for Stewart, BC (More Information On Stewart) and Hyder, AK (More Information On Hyder) - beautiful scenes of hanging glaciers and clouds along the way - also, dodging logging trucks.

Excellent views of Bear Glacier which comes down to a lake next to the highway. Wonderful bunch of waterfalls cascading from high up the steep mountains sides all the way down to the valley - fabulous.

With the rising misty clouds its like a fairyland/Gandolf Land.

View from Steward/Hyder road
View from Steward/Hyder road
View from Steward/Hyder road
View from Steward/Hyder road

Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road

Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road

Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road

Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road

Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road
Glacier view from Steward/Hyder road

Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road
Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road
Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road
Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road

Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road
Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road
Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road
Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road

Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road
Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road
Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road
Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road

Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road
Bear Glacier from Steward/Hyder road
Cave at foot of Bear Glacier on Stewart/Hyder Highway
Cave at foot of Bear Glacier on Stewart/Hyder Highway

Waterfalls from Stewart/Hyder Highway
Waterfalls from Stewart/Hyder Highway
Waterfalls from Stewart/Hyder Highway
Waterfalls from Stewart/Hyder Highway

Visited the Stewart Museum which has a nice history collection. Converted more US dollars to Canadian dollars at the bank - 1.4996 exchange rate turned $60 US into $89.98 CN.

Crossed the Canadian/US border into Hyder, Alaska and drove out toward the Salmon Glacier.

Along the way is a stream where hundreds of Salmon are spawning - AND, grizzly bears are feeding. The US Forest Service has a viewing area and I watched and photographed a young grizzly fishing.

The Forest Service Ranger who was there to make sure the bears and humans didn't mix it up too much said that there were several families of bears that were born in the area and the USFS has given them names - the one presently fishing was Nancy, 4 years old.

The bear didn't pay any attention to the humans - I think that since they grow up in the area they probably think the tourists are part of the normal scenery during spawning season. The ranger said sometimes the bears get to playing and chasing each other right through the people.

Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska
Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska
Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska
Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska

Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska
Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska
Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska
Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska

Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska
Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska
Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska
Grizzly Bear catching Salmon near Hyder, Alaska

Marmot at bear viewing site  near Hyder, Alaska
Marmot at bear viewing site near Hyder, Alaska
Marmot at bear viewing site  near Hyder, Alaska
Marmot at bear viewing site near Hyder, Alaska

Drove on up the Salmon River toward Salmon Glacier. Much mining history in the area including some really major operations in Canada - the road crosses back over the border. It was overcast but I still got to see the lower part of the Salmon Glacier. At the highest viewpoint I was completely in the clouds - visibility less than 50 feet. Too bad, 'cause the road is high on the mountain across from the glacier and offers outstanding views back into the high area where the glacier starts.

There is also some interesting mine buildings, etc. on up the road, but since it was all in the clouds, I turned around.

Talked to a man and his wife from Prince George at one of the view points. He had once worked for one of the mines (in their office) and had last been here 38 years ago in the winter with 14 foot snow walls on each side of the road.

Salmon Glacier (in Canada) near Hyder, Alaska
Salmon Glacier (in Canada) near Hyder, Alaska
Salmon Glacier (in Canada) near Hyder, Alaska
Salmon Glacier (in Canada) near Hyder, Alaska

Salmon Glacier (in Canada) near Hyder, Alaska
Salmon Glacier (in Canada) near Hyder, Alaska
Salmon Glacier (in Canada) near Hyder, Alaska
Salmon Glacier (in Canada) near Hyder, Alaska

Returned to Hyder and crossed the border back to Stewart.

Interestingly, there is no US border station but there IS a Canadian border station.

With the clouds being higher and fewer, saw multiple levels of waterfalls cascading down the mountain sides as I headed back to the Cassiar Highway. Glimpsed a bear just off the highway but didn't stop.

Stayed the night at the Meziadin Lake Provincial Campground . Grizzly bears sometimes come into this campground so they have a bear trap standing by and keep all the garbage inside a building.

Thursday, August 13, 1998

A rainy morning - got a slow start - almost decided to lay over but continued south on the Cassiar Highway as the weather improved. Stopped off to see totem poles at the Indian villages of Gitanyow (Kitwancool) and Gitwangak (Kitwanga) - both very interesting, Kitwancool being a better collection.

Gitanyow Historic Village and Interpretive Centre Situated in Gitanyow (Kitwancool) is the historic village, home to some of the oldest-known and largest collection of totem poles in British Columbia.

Highlighted by famous Canadian painter, Emily Carr, in 1928, the totem poles at Gitanyow Historic Village and Interpretive Centre bring you close and personally into First Nation heritage and folklore.

Although many of the original totem poles have been taken from Gitanyow (Kitwancool) and preserved at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria and replaced with replicas, many have stayed in place including the "Hole in the Ice" totem, erected circa 1850.

Marvel at the craftsmanship and feel the aboriginal spirit and history coming from the many artifacts that are presented at the centre including artwork, carving sheds and an ancient graveyard.

Totem Poles at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Poles at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Poles at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Poles at Kitwancool, British Columbia

Totem Poles at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Poles at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Pole at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Pole at Kitwancool, British Columbia

Original 'Hole in the Ice' Totem Pole erected circa 1840 at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Original 'Hole in the Ice' Totem Pole erected circa 1840 at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Original 'Hole in the Ice' Totem Pole erected circa 1840 at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Original 'Hole in the Ice' Totem Pole erected circa 1840 at Kitwancool, British Columbia

Totem Pole at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Pole at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Pole at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Pole at Kitwancool, British Columbia

Totem Poles at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Poles at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Pole at Kitwancool, British Columbia
Totem Pole at Kitwancool, British Columbia

St.  Paul's Anglican Church and 'old bell tower 1893' in Gitwangak, British Columbia
St. Paul's Anglican Church and 'old bell tower 1893' in Gitwangak, British Columbia

In the historic village of Gitwangak (Kitwanga) stands a remarkable Anglican Church. Started in 1882 as a Mission station of the North Pacific Mission; Church Missionary Society. It's a small simple Church with stained glass work.

Gitwangak translates to “People of the place of rabbits” in the Gitxsan Language.

Even more unique is the 3-storey wooden bell tower that stands in front of St Paul’s Anglican Church and still has its original bell. The wood panels and unique design makes it a must see.

Nearby is a set of 10 Totem poles which were erected between 1840 and 1842, each telling a story about each clan.

Totem poles are meant to be read from the bottom to the top, the bottom being the most important as it carries the weight of all the carvings above.


Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia
Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia
Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia
Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia

Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia
Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia
Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia
Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia

Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia
Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia
Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia
Totem pole at Gitwangak (Kitwanga), British Columbia

Yellowhead Highway map

Turned west on Yellowhead Highway toward Prince Rupert. Near Terrace, BC I turned south on a side trip to Kitimat, BC - site of an Alcan Smelter - a modern town created in the late 1950's to support the smelter. Was an historic fishing village in earlier times. There is also a lot of forestry in the area - private tree farms and logging.

Saw a 500 plus year old Sitka Spruce in a Park along the river. These trees are sort of like our Giant Sequoia's.

500 year old Sitka Spruce sign, Kitmat, British Columbia
500 year old Sitka Spruce sign, Kitmat, British Columbia
500 year old Sitka Spruce, Kitmat, British Columbia
500 year old Sitka Spruce, Kitmat, British Columbia

Replenished supplies and then backtracked to the Lakelse Lake Provincial Park campground near Terrace for the night.

Friday, August 14, 1998

It was a rainy morning as I returned to the Yellowhead Highway, west toward Price Rupert with breakfast in Terrace. This is a pretty drive along side the Skeena River which was a major water transportation route before roads.

The route passes through high steep sided mountains with NUMEROUS waterfalls coming down from high on the slopes. Very pretty with the misting clouds even with the rain - which varied from mist to flooding downpours.

Near Prince Rupert, turned off to Port Edward and a cannery museum and took the tour.

It started with a live show illustrated by slides in which the actor assumed the role of various people as he narrated the history of fishing and canneries in the area.

A FABULOUS SHOW, well worth the time.

Much of the original cannery buildings is present and contains nice displays related to fishing and canning over the years. Very interesting story.

Spent about two and a half hours. Most of the other old canneries have been destroyed by fire.

Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Train collection at Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Train collection at Cannery at Port Edward near Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Bought some more film - I've used up 40 36 exposure rolls I brought with me, 6 of 10 24 exposure rolls I was able to find in Fairbanks, and now have added 7 36 exposure rolls - luckily, I've been able to find the same type/speed film.

Checked out the local museums, didn't appear to be anything special or different from what I've already seen, so decided to skip them.

Checked out a number of totem poles scattered around town - all of them replicas carved as copies of historical ones.

Totem Poles in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Poles in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Poles in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Poles in Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Totem Pole in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole in Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Totem Pole at carving shed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole at carving shed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole at carving shed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole at carving shed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Totem Pole at carving shed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole at carving shed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole at city hall in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole at city hall in Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Totem Pole at city hall in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole at city hall in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole at city hall in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Totem Pole at city hall in Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Grizzly Bear Totem Pole of Skedans (copy by William Jeffrey), at city hall in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Grizzly Bear Totem Pole of Skedans (copy by William Jeffrey), at city hall
in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Grizzly Bear Totem Pole of Skedans (copy by William Jeffrey), at city hall in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Grizzly Bear Totem Pole of Skedans (copy by William Jeffrey), at city hall
in Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Grizzly Bear Totem Pole of Skedans (copy by William Jeffrey), at city hall in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Grizzly Bear Totem Pole of Skedans (copy by William Jeffrey), at city hall
in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Chief's Totem Pole at Skedans with (bottom to top) a Killer Whale, Rainbow Person, Tcamaos (legendary creature that could roll-over canoes), Eagle and 3 Watchmen in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Chief's Totem Pole at Skedans with (bottom to top) a Killer Whale, Rainbow Person,
Tcamaos (legendary creature that could roll-over canoes), Eagle and 3 Watchmen
in Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Chief's Totem Pole at Skedans with (bottom to top) a Killer Whale, Rainbow Person, Tcamaos (legendary creature that could roll-over canoes), Eagle and 3 Watchmen in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Chief's Totem Pole at Skedans with (bottom to top) a Killer Whale, Rainbow Person,
Tcamaos (legendary creature that could roll-over canoes), Eagle and 3 Watchmen
in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Chief's Totem Pole at Skedans with (bottom to top) a Killer Whale, Rainbow Person, Tcamaos (legendary creature that could roll-over canoes), Eagle and 3 Watchmen in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Chief's Totem Pole at Skedans with (bottom to top) a Killer Whale, Rainbow Person,
Tcamaos (legendary creature that could roll-over canoes), Eagle and 3 Watchmen
in Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Headed back east on the Yellowhead Highway through the pretty Skeena River canyon, supper in Terrace and then camped at the Kleanza Creek Provincial campground in a light but steady rain.